Posts Tagged ‘Chilterns’

A Yellowhammer

May 25, 2015

A few days ago I was out walking in the Chilterns in Buckinghamshire, with wife, son and granddaughter. We were lucky enough to see a yellowhammer. That’s not a painted device for knocking in nails. It’s a bird in the bunting family.

Not only did we see it. The bird sat on a rather roughly chopped hedge and posed for us.

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Isn’t that a glorious sight? I certainly thought so as did the adult members of the walk. I think granddaughter had fallen asleep by this time.

According to the Royal Society for the Protection of birds this species is severely endangered. They are on the red list. The population of these birds ‘dropped like a stone’ in the 1990s but there are still thought to be about 700000 pairs of them which is, I guess, about 1 pair of yellowhammers for every 100 people.

I certainly don’t often see these more or less sparrow sized birds  so that lovely fellow was enough to draw gasps of wonder from us.

We suspect there were others about but this was the one which stayed and could be identified.

 

At last – a bit of snow

February 2, 2015

Actually our snow was not at home. We were away at our son’s house which is in the Chilterns and rather higher above sea level than our home. We awoke to a white world albeit it was little more than a skittering of snow.

It was not enough to put off the greedy visitor to the peanut feeder.

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When I was a child I was taught that squirrels more or less hibernated in the winter. Well that is clearly wrong. This one seemed quite well at home in the end of January snow.

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The next day there was no sign of snow back home and one of our greedy friends was busy pecking for ants in the grass.

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He’s more photogenic when he takes his security look around.

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This is actually the 1st of February 2015 – one day later than the snow pictures. Oh, the good news is that we saw a pair of these birds so we can look forward to seeing young woodpeckers later in the year.